Like-for-like sales down 30% year-on-year in first full week of trading since regulations ease:

Last week we reported that like-for-like sales were down 33.6% year-on-year in first weekend of trading since regulations eased, this week we can report that the week that followed so called Super Saturday, were down 29.8% compared to the same week in 2019.

The research uncovers a split in the performance of sales of drinks and sales of food. Sales of drinks were down 21.3% while sales of food down 40.0% compared to the same week in 2019. While the figures had very little deviation when comparing sites that were inside and outside of London, the capital performed slightly worse on sales of food, down 43.0% (compared to 40% down nationally) while sales of drinks inside London, while still down, were only down 18.7% (compared to the national decline of 21.3%).

Analysis.

July the 4th 2020, the day the hospitality industry was allowed to reopen their doors to customers in England after been forced to close as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not every operator decided to reopen and those that did, did so to mixed pubic press on the rights and wrongs of them doing so, a raft of new government guidelines and an unknown level of public appetite to return to eating and drinking out. Anecdotally, operators had relatively low sales expectations from the opening weekend and many would have been encouraged by sales that were up 13.3% in comparison with the weekend before lock-down (14th
and 15th of March), albeit down 33.6% year-on-year.

The most notable trend from the following week including the weekend was the continued decline of food sales. S4labour Chief Customer Officer Sam Wignell said: “In these very early days of reopening, it is clear that social distancing is going to prevent food led business from serving the same number of guests they previously would have, explaining some of the reason why food sales have declined more severely than drinks. S4labour Chief Product Officer Richard Hartley said: Huge efforts have been made to make eating and drinking out safe, this has inevitably had an effect on capacity. We are also seeing some degree of people dipping their toe back in the water with a drink out, perhaps holding off for a period before going out for a meal.